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For fully autonomous implantable or body-worn devices running on harvested energy, the peak and average power dissipation of the radio transmitter must be minimized. Additionally, link symmetry must be maintained for peer-to-peer network applications. We propose a highly integrated 90 μW 400 MHz MICS band transmitter with an output power of 20 μW, leading to a 22% global efficiency - the highest reported to date for low-power MICS band systems. We introduce a new transmitter architecture based on cascaded multi-phase injection locking and frequency multiplication to enable low power operation and high global efficiency. Our architecture eliminates slow phase/delay-locked loops for frequency synthesis and uses injection locking to achieve a settling time <;250 ns permitting very aggressive duty cycling of the transmitter to conserve energy. At a data-rate of 200 kbps, the transmitter achieves an energy efficiency of 450 pJ/bit. Our 400 MHz local oscillator topology demonstrates a figure-of-merit of 204 dB while locked to a stable crystal reference. The transmitter occupies 0.04 mm2 of active die area in 130 nm CMOS and is fully integrated except for the crystal and the matching network.
Date of Publication: May 2011